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Stop China from Ivory Trade and Eradicate Poaching

Stop China from Ivory Trade and Eradicate Poaching


Why this is important

Dear President Obama:

Today the world is grieving the loss of an iconic figure! He was brutally murdered by poachers fueled by greed. Satao, the world's largest elephant is dead! An iconic elephant in Kenya where your roots belong!

But this is just the tip of the iceberg! John Scanlon secretary general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), the body regulating the international trade in endangered species, told reporters Africa's elephants were increasingly threatened. He said, "In 2011, we had 25,000 elephants illegally killed on the African continent. Last year, it was 22,000. So that was almost 50,000 elephants illegally killed for their ivory in just two years. This is decimating the African elephant population and we will soon see local extinctions in some areas, in particular within Central Africa."

According to this report (link in this para), an estimated 70 percent of global demand for ivory and rhino horn stems from China, the remainder from Thailand and Vietnam. Nearly all of the lucrative trade in elephant and rhinoceros tusks and horns is illegal, and the result of poaching by Africans, many of whom are employed by Chinese entrepreneurs living throughout mainland Africa.

In order to address illegal ivory poaching global leaders and dignitaries, including Prince Charles and Prince William convened in London in February 2014. At the time the BBC released a report on China's trade of elephant ivory, which suggested there are still 150 legal government licensed ivory shops, aside from the illegal trade, both of which are decimating the African elephants. "It is a common scam. Reusing old IDs to sell new pieces of ivory can be a way of laundering ivory that is not from the legal stockpile but illegal, smuggled into China."

Meantime, in December 2013 Chinese customs officers destroyed six tonnes of seized ivory, seemingly to silence the global outcry and display that "China is trying to tackle the problem." As it turns out the problem is spiraling out of control.

The loss of these keystone animals, [vital for the survival of their ecosystems, as other species depend on them], will have a cascading effect, potentially resulting in loss of other species. Worse yet, it is resulting in the loss of human lives, as ivory poaching funds terrorists activities.

So we have to take urgent action to avert two catastrophes:
1. Another 9/11
2. Decimation of ecosystems, as this will ultimately come to haunt the survival of our own species

Recently, when US banned "most commercial trade of elephant ivory" you said, "The entire world has a stake in protecting the world's iconic animals, and the United States is strongly committed to meeting its obligation,"

The US then destroyed tons of ivory before the cameras and global leaders. In fact, you went as far to saying, "every last intricately carved and high-dollar item will be fed into the jaws of an industrial strength rock-crushing machine and smashed to splinters."

Last July when you visited East Africa you discussed the possibility of using unarmed, unmanned aircraft to help overstretched park rangers to combat the growing problem of elephant poaching. Read more:
However, if this strategy has been implemented, it may not be working as effectively, as the onslaught against our priceless African elephants continue unabated.

China is not taking this issue seriously enough, as it is not taking drastic measures nor enforcing any stringent laws. But instead we have witnessed the loss of our planet's largest elephant - the iconic Satao - and another one just a few months back Mountain Bull. Their massive majestic tusks will be used to make watches, cell phones and chopsticks in China.

"There's not a moment to lose if we are to save the species," said Prince Charles during that February 2014 conference in London. And he's absolutely right!
The time to act is now!! The only way to put an end to this senseless destruction of our natural treasure, and in the process curb terrorism is to use your diplomatic ties with China to send a clear message --- the world will no longer sit back and watch these senseless acts. We do not want the world to hate China – the global super power – as many Chinese people are kind and compassionate, and indeed embarrassed by these atrocities by their country.

Dear President Obama, you were quick to place sanctions on Syria and threaten Iran with sanctions to preserve democracy in those countries, today we call upon you to use your influence to protect our global commons - the African or Asian elephants - they do not belong to China.

You also have a moral imperative to protect the African Elephants - especially given that you have Kenyan roots and you are forging productive relationship with China, the very country that is destroying the wildlife in a place where your father was born.

China has to do the following effective immediately:
** Shut down their 150 legal ivory trading government agencies

** Destroy all ivory stored in those agencies
** Crack down and shut down all illegal ivory traders
** Place toughest penalties on these illegal traders
** Cooperate with NGOs to educate Chinese people on the devastation caused by Ivory Poaching
** Debunk all myths and superstitions surrounding the use of ivory

We also hope US would consider providing additional resources, financial support and military aid to the Kenya Wildlife to combat these atrocities against our wildlife.

Thank you for all that you've done to protect wildlife in Africa!

Posted June 14, 2014
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